At the San Francisco conference, a special columnist for the sedate Christian Science Monitor was rapidly winning readers and influencing teen-age kids. Nice old ladies were writing him fan mail. Ecstatic schoolgirls wanted his autograph.
The journalistic meteor was Kenneth Langley, 16, an auburn-haired, apple-cheeked high-school student. He sold Erwin Canham, the Monitor's shrewd and scholarly editor on a kid's eye report on UN CIO. His column has appeared in the Monitor under such headings as: "Boy Reporter Offers Proof China Will Be Strong Nation." Kenneth got off to a slow start. Racing back & forth between his classes and the Opera House a block away, he filed 500 words of stiff schoolboy prose to Boston every night. Soon Editor Canham offered a suggestion: let the grown-up reporters cover the news ; you tell us what you think of it. Kenneth thereupon got into the groove. One of his stories began: "This story starts one winter night in 1942 in a He waggled a solemn finger at his contemporaries : "I think it's pretty important to know just why this conference is being held. And if you don't know the purpose of it, don't feel bad, because a lot of adults don't either." His eye sharpened: "I saw an interesting and pretty hat walk into the dress circle today — it turned out to be Hedda Hopper under it." He pontificated : "On the whole, I'd say the conference has done remarkably well." In Boston, Editor Canham, well pleased with his new columnist, suggested that Kenneth could stand a few spelling lessons but might one day become a topnotch newspaperman. Kenneth was pleased too.